So here's the deal.
I moved from Manhattan to Brooklyn, or more specifically, from Harlem to Windsor Terrace, aka: The Antithesis of Harlem.
Now, don't get me wrong. I liked Harlem, but I looove Windsor Terrace (so far). There's this quirky, half-"old-Jewish-retirees"/half-"young-hipsters" feel about this neighborhood, and I love it.
On the 31st, J and I moved all of our stuff through the Battery Park Tunnel (it took two trips in his sister's Suburu station wagon) and unpacked in the new place. I'm living on the second floor of a two floor building. It's more or less a single-family home and the Staten-Island-raised couple downstairs has rented out the top floor for quite a few years. I was a little worried about feeling like I'm living with some eccentric aunt and uncle, but so far I feel fine. What's more, this apartment is beautiful. Old, original furnishings and built-in cabinets, mirrors and cupboards. Dark, stained wood moldings and a gorgeous slatted, original wood flooring. Amazing. (The TOH intern in me is so excited. So excited that I'm uploading this picture of the apartment.)
J and I spent yesterday sleeping in til around 11 (we rarely get to do that anymore), whipped up some eggs with Tabasco sauce and then ventured into Windsor Terrace, bundled up in zip-up sweaters and our jeans for the bizarre weather. (I haven't seen sun for a week.) We discovered that little Windsor Terrace, a neighborhood that saddles up beside Propsect Park and hugs the edge of trendy-expensive Park Slope, has a little bit of everything. A corner coffee shop that faces the park, a $3 falafel place (woooohooo! totally had lunch there already), a tacquiera, a Greek-owned diner, a dodgy bar (Farrel's, with lots of old men in it at 1:30 pm on a Saturday watching horse racing. Legend has it that no women were served until Shirley MacLaine barged in with bf Pete Hamill in 1972 and demanded service. Legend also has it that this place has been around since, well during Prohibition.), Middle Eastern food, pizza, and, oh my, a Hallmark. I live a corner away from a grocery store, and two blocks from a laundromat. I also went running in Prospect Park, which is two blocks away from me, this morning. At night, we can hear concerts drifting over the trees and rooftops and into our open window--and oh wait, did you hear that, I said...TREES. THERE ARE TREES. Oh my goodness. I basically am thrilled.
The problem with living in Harlem is that there really is nowhere to go. Of course, you can hop on the subway and go a few stops somewhere to the UWS, but you can't just wander Harlem. Not that I ever felt unsafe. The drug trafficking at 116th and Manhattan Ave. where I was living has become a one-gang deal. The neighborhood's peaceful and the leader of these guys takes care of everyone in the neighborhood, particularly the elderly. Still, there were just the two bodegas and two barbershops on my block, and that was about it for entertainment.
I'm facing the inevitable disappointment of J leaving for Northwestern in exactly two weeks. It's hard not to be upset about it, but we both agree that we'll be fine, try to visit one another at least once and, really, I'll be so busy with working and LSAT classes and he'll be so busy with classes and another documentary, that this is the best quarter we could be apart.
Okay, time to venture back to Manhattan to visit J, who has been up since 5:15 am and working in a bakery. :(